Beckman Coulter Life Sciences, Indianapolis, has announced FDA clearance of its Aquios CL flow cytometer for use in the clinical laboratory.

The “load and go” instrument sports a small footprint and high precision specifically for Lean laboratories that operate around the clock and require automated systems that improve workflow, enhance quality, and deliver a consistent turnaround time. The flow cytometer delivers first results within 20 minutes for such routine applications as immunophenotyping. Subsequent results are available at a rate of 25 samples per hour for up to a full 96-well plate. The instrument’s integrated automated sample preparation is built for seamless operation with other laboratory instruments, such as hematology analyzers.

Mario Koksch 2014

Mario Koksch, Beckman Coulter.

“The Aquios CL flow cytometer technology transforms the way routine applications such as immunophenotyping are managed by the clinical lab,” says Mario Koksch, vice president and general manager of the cytometry business unit at Beckman Coulter. “The precision of the Aquios CL flow cytometer in establishing the lymphocyte gate makes it possible to carry out high volume, T-, B-, and NK-cell analysis within the hospital lab instead of an external lab.

“The high level of automation helps prevent sample processing errors and frees up experienced staff for more complex analysis, making better use of staff resources,” Koksch says. “In addition, by removing manual processes, the instrument delivers operational savings and increases overall workflow.”

Once samples are loaded, the instrument automatically carries out mixing, sample preparation, and analysis, using automated cap-piercing technology that helps to reduce staff exposure to biohazardous samples “Today’s Lean laboratory requires instrumentation that also offers staff safety features alongside efficiency and lower costs,” Koksch says.

The fully integrated system includes a 40-tube capacity autoloader that can handle a range of tube sizes, with continuous, random loading and unloading. A separate single-tube loader is available for stat samples. Sample preparation, reagent monitoring, barcode scanning, and laboratory information system connectivity are all automated.

Intuitive software is equipped with SmartTrack reagent monitoring with barcode tracking, eliminating manual quality control and reagent logs. If the quality control fails, the system automatically sends the operator a text message alert or e-mail for intervention.

The first tests available are Tetra-1 (CD45/4/8/3), Tetra-2+ (CD45/56+16/19/3), and Tetra Combo (both Tetra-1 and -2+) for immune status monitoring.

For more information, visit Beckman Coulter.